I remember years ago when I was single and thought I was spiritual because I had no conflict or schedule challenges. Eight wonderful hours of sleep each night, uninterrupted. Hours in my Bible every morning and night. I went to church several times a week and on my free nights I was out evangelizing. I had hired Merry Maids to clean my apartment, and I recall thinking how much more time I could spend soulwinning if I had a wife so I wouldn’t have to do laundry. I prayed for a wife telling God if he found me one I would go into full time ministry. It seemed my ducks were in a row and I just needed the right duck keeper so I could get back to the pond and fish.
God has a sense of humor. The bible says He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing. My wife is an amazing woman, but it is a challenge to constantly see your shortcomings. Especially when you thought you were all that and a bag of chips when you said “I DO”. I was excited I was getting a bride, but I think I was even more impressed with the catch my wife was getting. Now I see that not only was I not what I thought I was quacked up to be, but all my ducks flew south for the winter and have yet to return.
I see now that laundry was the least of my problems. And I have started to see how much growing up I needed to do. I remember being hard on my married friends back then wondering how they couldn’t be out on the streets giving out the gospel like I was. Today I am heading to the University at Buffalo (UB) to do some one-on-one witnessing and hand out some gospel tracts. But I didn’t feel like it. I would have been more than content to stay home and watch Master Chef with my wife. It was not because of me, Mr. Spiritual, that UB will be hit with the gospel. It is because my wife encouraged me to get out there.
Most men get weary with the battle. I’m getting weary with the bottle. Last night our 2 month old would not settle down even after feeding her. I took my daughter from my wife about midnight so my wife could get some sleep. I walked her for about an hour. I had her laying on me perfect and she was sleeping soundly. Then our 1 and a 1/2 year old woke up crying. I had to put her down, walk him asleep, and by the time I went back to her she would not settle down. I walked her some more. Then my wife wakes me at 716 am because I overslept, and I was to get up to get my oldest son to school. We flew Josiah through the morning routine, and I drove him barely on time to the church academy where he attends 1st grade. At 215pm, I am about to fly out the door when his 2 younger brothers want to come, Elijah and 3 year old Zechariah. But Zech is wearing firemen pajamas ready to depart! It is Operation Get Zech in Normal Clothes, fly out the door and pick up Joe.
Welcome to parenthood 101. It is wonderful but it is painful on the flesh as it shows how weak and selfish you really are. Especially when I am about to head out to church, but suddenly all chaos breaks loose and I can’t get out the door. It is scary to see a devil deep within kick up.
I had this thought though on the way. The Bible says in Mark 10:29-30 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
I always thought of that verse as someone saying “Adios Honey!” and leaving for the hills to start a church somewhere and never coming back. The verse today encouraged me because that is what I did for the evening. I could be home in my comfort zone. Instead I left my wife, and children, and home behind. For his sake, and the gospel’s.
Why that is encouraging is today we think if we can’t be out in the mission field we might as well not even bother. We have these grand plans for God and miss the opportunities right before us because we think they are not as earth shattering. Yet if everyone of us did something, and did something on a consistent and persistent basis, we just may see this world once again turned right side up.
I left my wife behind today to give out the gospel. And I am returning later today. I might leave her behind again tomorrow. But I will return again, unless I die out in the battlefield.
Many of us are willing to do the grand and heroic things for God. Are we willing to do the small things as well?
And who knows. A Mission trip across the street to tell my neighbors about Jesus for 10 minutes might turn into a life long journey. It is said a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.
I might start across the street.
I might end across the ocean.
Christian, who lives on your road? May I challenge you to leave your comfort zone and visit them today?
Maybe leaving your comfort zone one day will put you in a brand new one, with a brand new time zone. And a new culture and language as well.
Not too bad for just being willing to take a single step. Not bad at all.